The Top Rated Brandies From January 2017

These brandies took home the top scores out of all of our expert reviews in January!
Feb 02, 2017
  • 10
    10 Cognac Normandin-Mercier Prestige Fine Champagne
    84
    Woody & Oily
    Cognac Normandin-Mercier has been blending and aging cognac stretching back five generations to 1872. They buy young cognac from the Petite and Grand Champagne regions, consisting 90% of the ugni blanc grape, and 10% of colombard and folle blanche. Their Prestige Fine Champagne is a blend of both regions, aged for a minimum of 15 years. The first two years are spent in new 350L barrels, before being moved to 600L barrels.
  • 9
    9 Cognac du Peyrat Organic Selection
    84
    Rich
    The family behind the Distillerie du Peyrat has been distilling in the region for over three hundred years, but only in the last several decades have they produced their own single distillery brand. They produce 100% organic cognac, and focus on the terroir of their Fins Bois region, as well as its proximity to Grand Champagne. The Organic Selection is a blend of young eaux de vie with no age statement provided.
  • 8
    8 A & G Michigan Brandy Reserve
    85
    Sweet & Floral
    A & G is the distilling arm of the St. Julian winery located in the Lake Michigan Shore Appellation. The process of distillation occurs in a custom Carl still (a German maker known for their quality and scaled to the craft distillation process.) The region’s Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, and Pinot Gris grapes are used for the wine base and the resulting spirit is aged for an impressive 10 years in Hungarian and French oak.
  • 7
    7 Cognac Normandin-Mercier VSOP Petite Champagne
    87
    Floral & Sweet
    Cognac Normandin-Mercier has been blending and aging cognac stretching back five generations to 1872. They buy young cognac from the Petite and Grand Champagne regions, consisting 90% of the ugni blanc grape, and 10% of colombard and folle blanche. The VSOP Petite Champagne has been aged for a minimum of seven years.
  • 6
    6 Santiago Queirolo Acholado Pisco
    87
    Rich
    This Acholado (or blend) pisco is comprised of four grapes: italia, muscatel, quebranta, and negra criolla. All of the grapes, with the exception of the negra criolla, are aromatic grapes, which is exactly what they sound like: grapes which provide a fragrant aroma, particularly with floral and fruity notes.
  • 5
    5 Rhine Hall Plum Brandy
    88
    Fruity
    Rhine Hall distills fresh fruit eau-de-vie in their distillery in Chicago, Illinois. Their plum brandy is produced in the fall from a mash of Michigan plums, with roughly 20 pounds of plums needed to produce each 750ml bottle. Availability is limited.
  • 4
    4 Cognac du Peyrat Rare Prestige
    88
    Sweet & Rich
    The family behind the Distillerie du Peyrat has been distilling in the region for over three hundred years, but only in the last several decades have they produced their own single distillery brand. They produce 100% organic cognac, and focus on the terroir of their Fins Bois region, as well as its proximity to Grand Champagne. The Rare Prestige consists of eaux de vie with a minimum age of 7 years, the first year spent in new Limousin oak before it is transferred to older, used barrels.
  • 3
    3 Copper & Kings 3 Marlenas Apple Brandy
    90
    Floral & Fruity
    Copper & Kings took a new twist with their latest apple brandy release, 3 Marlenas. The brandy is five years old, with the final two years of aging taking place in tequila casks, before being bottled at 100 proof. A total of 1,000 375-ml bottles of 3 Marlenas were released in this limited edition expression, with the bottle label showcasing artwork from Louisville painter Damon Thompson.
  • 2
    2 Kinsman Apricot Rakia
    92
    Fruity
    Pronounced "door-chol," San Antonio's Dorćol Distilling Co was founded in 2013 by Chris Mobley and Boyan Kalusevic, two friends who met in college 10 years prior. Their first spirit is Kinsman Apricot Rakia, an unaged brandy made from de-pitted, de-stemmed Serbian apricots. After double-distillation in a custom-built 400 L., direct-flame copper pot-still from Belgrade, the brandy is chill-filtered then bottled at 42% ABV.
  • 1
    1 Jean & Roger Glemet 1979 Cognac
    98
    Rich & Sweet
    This special cognac is extremely rare and delicious. Although cognac law allows for vintages, they are seldom seen as many of the big houses encourage blending to make a consistent product. Jean and Roger Glemet take no shortcuts in crafting exquisite brandies on the chalky soils of Cognac's "Grand Cru" Grande Champagne. This represents one of their oldest marques, and only a handful of bottles make it stateside.